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Dishonored 2: Everything we know

Two assassins team up to uncover a conspiracy

Dishonored 2 follows up the original 2012 game with more stealth action, whether lethal or nonlethal. Our hero, Corvo Attano, returns as a protagonist, now joined by another member of the royal family.

Here's what we know so far about Dishonored 2.

Just the facts

Developer: Arkane Studios

Publisher: Bethesda Softworks

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows PC, Xbox One

Release date: Nov. 11, 2016

The story

Dishonored 2 takes place about 15 years after the original game, and features a grown-up Emily Kaldwin, who was the princess at the center of Dishonored. She is one of two playable characters in the sequel, along with Dishonored's protagonist, Corvo Attano.

Following her rescue by Corvo, Emily assumed her rightful place as empress. But now she's been replaced by an "otherworldly usurper," so she becomes a supernatural assassin herself to retake her throne.

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Asked and answered

What is Dishonored 2?

Dishonored 2 is a follow-up to 2012's Dishonored, which put Arkane Studios back on the map after a six-year hibernation.

What will you be doing in the game?

Without the empress on the throne, life in the Empire is deteriorating. It's up to Emily and Corvo to take back her position and restore the world to normalcy. And it's up to you to figure out how to accomplish this task — you can play through Dishonored 2 as a ruthless killer, murdering anyone who stands in your way, or as a pacifist ghost, never harming a soul or alerting them to your presence.

Emily is Corvo's daughter

Is Dishonored 2 set in the same place as the first game?

No. The original Dishonored took place in the city of Dunwall, which was overrun by rats. The sequel heads to the southern city of Karnaca, capital of the island of Serkonos; the setting swaps out the rodent plague for an infestation of blood flies. Serkonos, the "Jewel of the South" in the universe's fiction, is inspired by Europe's Mediterranean coast — it's known for its warm but windy climate and its spicy cuisine.

OK, now I need a refresher on who these characters are.

Emily Kaldwin was a girl of about 10 when she was kidnapped at the start of Dishonored, following the assassination of her mother, Empress Jessamine Kaldwin — a crime that Corvo, the empress' bodyguard, was framed for. By the end of that game, Corvo had cleared his name and rescued Emily, who, it turns out, is actually his daughter.

So how does the whole playing-both-characters thing work?

Well, to be clear, you can't play as both Emily and Corvo; it's an either/or thing. Near the start of Dishonored 2, you choose whether to step into Emily's or Corvo's shoes, and you stay with that character choice for the rest of the game. You'll have to start a second playthrough to see the story from the other person's perspective.

you can play as a ruthless killer or as a pacifist ghost

Oh. Well, how do Emily and Corvo differ?

Corvo was a silent protagonist in Dishonored. This time around, the now middle-aged assassin is voiced by Stephen Russell. He won't start Dishonored 2 with the full complement of supernatural powers that he attained by the end of the original game, but his abilities are by and large similar to the ones he had before. Emily (voiced by Erica Luttrell) and Corvo have some powers in common, but most of hers are new to the Dishonored series.

How'd they get these powers, anyway?

Corvo, and now Emily, have been "marked" by a character named The Outsider, who grants both of them supernatural abilities like creating clones of yourself and teleporting a short distance. However, in Dishonored 2, it will be possible to refuse The Outsider's gift and play through the entire game without powers. That option is called Flesh and Steel mode.

What about the other characters?

Just like the first game, Dishonored 2 features a star-studded voice cast. The aforementioned Outsider returns, now voiced by Robin Lord Taylor instead of Billy Lush. Other actors with roles in the game include Vincent D'Onofrio as Luca Abele, the Duke of Serkonos; Rosario Dawson as Meagan Foster, captain of the Dreadful Wale; and Sam Rockwell as Mortimer Ramsey of the Dunwall City Watch.

most of Emily's powers are new

Dishonored had an open-ended story. Is the same true in the sequel?

It sure is. Obviously, there are two different perspectives on the plot, one for Emily and one for Corvo. In addition, the decisions that players make as those characters — whom they allow to live, or whether they kill at all, for instance — influence the path and eventual outcome of the story.

So if the first game had different endings, is there an option to import your Dishonored save game into Dishonored 2?

No. Arkane chose the "low chaos" conclusion to the original game as the canonical ending, and the sequel goes from there. In that ending, Corvo saves Emily and she assumes the throne as the new empress, and he spares the life of Daud, the assassin who killed Empress Jessamine.

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